The Scottsdale Development Review Board has approved the site plan for a mixed-use development that contains a 70-foot-tall building, 7,000 square feet of retail space and 40 condominiums near the intersection of N. 70th Street and N Goldwater Boulevard Thursday.
Council voted 6-1 to approve the site plan for the project known as Goldwater despite concerns raised by Mayor David Ortega about it.
Ortega does not sit on the board but attended part of the meeting to voice his concerns. In particular, he disliked that the facility did not have overhangs to provide shade for sidewalks.
“I say covered walkways are just the way we do it… It’s one of the fundamental things we’ve been working on for 40 years,” Ortega said.
Ortega also didn’t like the fact that the top floor of the building wasn’t set back, calling the project “top heavy”.
Karin Santiago, architect for the developer, said the shape and landscaping of the building will provide enough shade for the sidewalk.
“We will work very hard to find more shade,” Santiago said after the June 7 meeting. “We want it to become a real asset and something that’s an enjoyable thing for people who are going to use it every day. That’s the most important thing that it’s an asset.
She also addressed the concern over the top floor setback stating that the project was one floor less than originally planned.
“The first thing we did to try and mitigate the scale was rather than just looking at the limited range of the recoil, let’s go a step further and reduce the scale of the building overall, so rather than six stories we have five floors,” Santiago said.
Commissioner Michal Ann Joyner praised Santiago for removing a story, saying, “I love it and I’m sure the homeowners around there will love it too.”
Commissioner Jeff Brand called the project “a significant benefit to downtown.”
He applauded the way the building is designed to create shade on the sidewalk.
“I think this building does a great job just the way it’s put together,” Brand said.
When Brand asked her what she envisioned in the commercial space, Santiago said she would like to see a restaurant in part of the space. “The patio and grand suite scream brunch to me,” Santiago said. “I hope one day I can have brunch here with my kids.”
Commissioner Barney Gonzales voted alone against the project.
He said he disliked that the building had no overhangs for sidewalks and felt that some of the renderings of the proposed building were inadequate. He especially didn’t like the fact that the renders didn’t show a required stairwell.
“I’m having a hard time passing stipulations on without them being presented in a rendering,” he said, also asking if the building would allow short-term rentals in condominiums. He dropped that line of questioning when a representative from the city attorney’s office said state law does not allow the city to approve the project based on whether or not short-term rentals are allowed.
Santiago said on Tuesday that it does not anticipate any short-term rentals in the space.
The facility will feature a High Intensity Activated (HAWK) crosswalk on N. Goldwater Boulevard.
The 1.2-acre site was rezoned by council to host the project in 2019, so Thursday’s vote was the final step in the development process.
The developer hopes to start construction in the fall, but doesn’t have a specific date for that, Santiago said.